the cough remains the same

the coughing has become something that we’ve just acclimated to. it does seem like the frequency of the individual coughing ‘fits’ have decreased. however, the intensity of the fits have become more gripping, more physically demanding of the lil dood. they are wetter in nature then they’ve ever been, with us finally making visual confirmation of how productive we know these coughs to be. case in point, we’ve always seen him chewing something after the coughing fits. but this past weekend (1/29) i saw him expel a fair amount of phlegm at the end of one of his fits.

and we have feedback – finally – concerning when they occur more often then others. the coughing fits occur more often when/if we let him run around at will, where he is panting and making lots of vocalisations and laughing. it is during these times that he is hit with the high-intensity fits that make his whole face turn red and his eyes sink into their orbits. no shit. this association is too strong to not emphasise. however, this association does nothing to explain why some fits occur during his sleep. again though, not as often overall.

i would mention here that if there has been ‘progress’ made with regards to his treatment, it is that he seems to have less fits at night, which seem to be of less intensity. Jude’s course of treatment – the course of the condition – has spanned 4 months now. Those same 4 months have also seen his locomotion increase across the boards: frequency, intensity, duration, etc. so, a correlation between the occurance of the fits during his heightened physical activity and the intensity of those physical activities must be mentioned here.

currently, jude has completed a 2nd run of augmentin in as many months, with no quantifiable results to speak of. He has been seen quite regularly by Dr Dow (MV Pediatrics) over the past 4 weeks, during which it has been revealed that he has a persistent ear infection. the 2nd round of augmentin didnt touch the ear infection either – so we may be facing at least some resistance to this antibiotic.

so jude is now on a different antibiotic called omnicef, of which he takes 4ml once daily. hopefully, this will take care of the ear infection as well as whatever is brewing in his lungs. we are continuing the daily use of pulmacort via the nebuliser (which we now own outright). there are times in the morning where Jude – i swear – comes to expect the 7-minute ritual of TeleTubbies & Nebuliser.

some questions i need to remember to ask DR Dow:
o Is there *any* evidence of wheezing in Judes chest?
o Are there *any* definitive tests that can be performed to verify Jude as an asthmatic?

As always, stay tuned…

Sweaty Armpits Deserve Certain Dri

if you lost something you had lived with your entire adult life, you might miss it. even if that same thing represented a long standing source of anger, embarrassment, and frustration. you might still miss it. for as embarrassing as they are, your armpits are an important element of the Greater You. they may not be the windows into the soul, but they may certainly be the exhaust vents.

i have a condition called Axillary Hyperhidrosis. I know it sounds like a petty whine in comparison with broader spectrum of ‘real’ conditions a poor sap can get. But taken for what it was, it was a pain in the fuggin ass. There was a whole wardrobe of colours, such as greys, greys, reds or blues, that i could never wear. and a shelf life for a white t-shirt so short you’d think they came with our Costco runs.

even with a heavy-duty layer of cotton undershirt in normal room temperature, i ALWAYS ended up with dark wet patches that easily and often spread up the fronts & backs of my shoulders. These could be obvious in a dark room even without raising my arms. So try a hug. Or try a reach. Or taking off a winter jacket in a warm room. I got it: try dancing for 5 hours.

to be fair, i’m just a sweaty fuggin guy. and not just from my pits either. it just hit my pits first. then my face. then my scalp. then my neck. then my crotch. once it starts to come out of the nether regions, its all over. you’re in deep and had better be dancing to ensure a proper flush of the ducts. but we’re talking about an average evening, in a normal setting, with a completely level heartrate. here, my sweat volume would be completely manageable. but regardless of whatever regulatory measures i found effective, i would still have the pits to deal with.

when i investigated my options, i was confronted by a treatment i just had issues with. issues in that: i didnt know where to file it: my options were to have a specialty dermatologist knock up my pits with dozens of Botox injections over a course of multiple sessions. i began to doodle designs for an elastic mesh sling that would form-fit the shoulder & keep snug a large wad of paper towels that could be swapped out in the mens room as needed. basically, i was simply prepared to spend the rest of my life with this condition.

but then amidst a casual conversation overheard by jen j, the days of being a slave to my pituitary glands were numbered if not cleanly over. “there’s this stuff called Certain Dri and lemme tell ya, it kicks ass… it works!” perhaps i was internally in denial that anything could just ‘work’ in terms of these pits. but externally, i was still hopeful listening to another persons success in the matter. she had the same issues with her pits, used this stuff called Certain Dri.

she sent me the link and of course i did a bit of research on it. and of course i immediately sort by worst ratings first. and what i ready freaked my shit OUT. out of dozens upon dozens of user testimonials, there were only a sratch few below perfect. those few souls told stories ranging from the product not working but stinging their pits to worse yet: the product working but weeks later having weeping puss-less zits on the backs of their shoulders. but again, these bad reviews numbered in single digits. the rest of the reviews were nothing short of stellar. all success. all life changing testimonials. there were FIRST many other people out there that were dealing with the same thing i was and SECOND stories how their social lives were changing as a result of a $6 product.

i picked up a bottle and went to town. my first night with the junk was on or around 1/14, and didnt see any results for the first week. so i just continued to roll it on every night before i went to sleep. it burned a little like they said it would. i made sure i was dry so that the aluminum chloride wouldnt turn to hydrochloric acid like one website warned. and by end of the second week, i just noticed it.

my armpit stayed the exact same temperature, but was completely dry. my mind just blocked it out. but the next day, the same thing: completely dry with no issues. by the next day, i wanted to go cowboy and wear a coloured long sleeve dress-shirt… without an undershirt. and still, no pits. i waited all of these days to make sure i was in the right body in the right time and not sound asleep at 4.30am. but when i was sure, i was sure. this shit worked and Jen J was right: it DOES kick ass. all i had to do to present the good news to anna was to say “i have something to show you” and raise my arms.

so here were are entering my third week of use, and my second week of dry pits. i even went the ENTIRE Gomez show in the front of the Fillmore and made it out of there with my standard sweat-soaked shirt. but the pits were dry. ok, THAT kinda freaked me out. that was the first point at which i KNEW i had to throttle back on the juice. thats just. the body simply MUST have an exhaust.

therefore, i am discontinuing use of Certain Dri indefinitely. i am sure that my body reacts incredibly well to the active agents within the junk. so, i am relatively confident that i can re-enter this state of new normalcy. all i want is to return to the old normal for a spell. just to verify that i’ve not done some sort of irreparable damage to the ducts down there. once i can return there, i can experiment with just how much or with what frequency Certain Dri and my body get along.

but if you’re out there and you’re reading this because you Googled it because you’ve got a similar case of Axillary Hyperhidrosis, then i implore you to consider Certain Dri. do your research. read the reviews and the testimonials. Hell, talk to your dermatologist about the needle in the armpit thing. find it all out for yourself. all i know is that it works, and it kicks ass.


So happy to hear you’ve joined the “Land of the Dri”!!…
happy enough not to be pissy that the internet now knows of my own Axillary Hyperhidrosis :-).

My recommendation going forward is just to use it for a night or two whenever the PITS start to come back. That usually snaps em into shape for another couple of weeks to a month. No need to use every night fo’ eva’.

Congratulations. 🙂 -Jen J

Posted by: Jen Jackson at January 24, 2005 04:26 PM

Im am more than certain that certain dri does work but not for me. No deodorant I try has ever worked and I don’t know what to do. when I first got it I put on alot the first night because I didnt believed that just two strokes would be enough and i let it sit for about 20 mins before I went to sleep. since it didn’t work, the next night I put on two strokes. that didn’t work either. so I waited a few days before applying more, thinking that I had too much on. it still does not work for me. someone please help me because I am in high school and this problem of mine should have been taken care of a while ago. PLEASE HELP ME AND TELL ME WHAT I AM DOING WRONG.

Posted by: Danielle at November 15, 2005 09:49 AM


i can only suggest what i did: read the directions and then DOUBLE them. thats right: 5+ swipes for each pit, every night for a week. then lay off completely & see what happens. you ought to see *some* results after that 1st week.

Posted by: seannarae at November 15, 2005 09:06 PM

SOMEONE HELP PLEAZ!!! i put on two strokes every night and let it COMPLETELY dry for about ten minutes then i go to bed. but about five minutes later my pits start to get moist. i make sure im dry before i put it on. i blow dry my pits for goodness sake! i don’t understand, if i have this sweating problem how am i supposed to keep my pits dry while i have this stuff on? idk but im confused

honeymoon recap

this is a response to my aunt geri and uncle fred. they were wondering if were had returned from our honeymoon safe & sound. see, geri & fred played a massive role in our honeymoon in that they booted us up to Business Class on the flight there and the flight back. But this response was to be copy pasted to whomever was fool enough to ask what we did for 3 honeymoon weeks down there.

in the name of all that is good…where do i begin?
(how about this = take a seat, this is a LOOOOOOONNNNG one!)

Well, first of all, i’m a bit embarassed. When we returned, and I got back to my desk here at work, I began the process of sifting thru some 238 individual emails, only a fraction of which were related to actual “work.” Upon completion of this long task, i wrote you and Fred an email explaining that we were home and that we were safe and that we had a wonderful time and that I would impart to you both the wonderful details once the fervor of returning to work dies down to a low roar. And that time is slowly approaching. However, when i get into work this morning, i get this from you, wondering if we’re home yet. A little confused, i go to check the email i sent a few weeks ago, and cannot find it. You never got it. Its still sitting in my “drafts” folder, missing a closing sentence or two…sitting in there, unsent. Embarassed apologies. As if something so simple isnt embarassing enough, but for you two to not know if we were home or not?

And so, back to the first sentence: Where to begin?

The magic and the excitement of that privledge have not waned all that much since we’ve been back. While the work-weeks seek to distract me, my mind still frequently and easily wanders back to Anna and our time down there. I long to return there in so many ways. Almost in a desert island sort of way, I long to return. Anna and I are fairly solitary people, WHEN we are alone. by that i mean that while we host & plan the majourity of the functions attended by our beloved Circus (circle of friends), we are more frequently then not turning the phones off and stealing away by ourselves…being alone with each other. This drives our friends crazy for they do come to us for inquiries about the upcoming weekends. But going down there together on our honeymoon was significant in that we were COMPLETELY alone for 3 weeks. The whole time, we were just surrounded by the situations we love so much here. Good food at new resaurants, road trips with good music, taking pictures, sleeping in, exploring pubs & meeting nightlife. It was so concentrated. No cell phones, no organizing, no expectations, no majour things to remember. It was pure “US.” I think thats what a honeymoon should be…or any trip with your love…concentrated “you.” During these wonderfull times of our lives, its not always clear that its occurring. Its that you’re distracted by the fun. But there were many times when we would just catch each other staring at each other…and coming to the same multitude of expressions. Disbelief = that we’re actually married and on our honeymoon in such a great place. Decompression = that this is tru relaxation after a year of hard-core planning. Calm = in that there was little or no reason to disrupt the “now” for an agenda “later.” Humble = cause while we WERE in a great land under great circumstances, there was a genuine feeling of “good LORD we are 2 lucky souls.” And that last one is key, for realization of how fortunate we were to be right there, right then was to appreciate all of life. To have found anna, to have fallen in such perfect love, to have experienced such a wonderfull wedding, to have seen my family at said wedding after so long a gap, and then to be down there with all the blessings from those we love. It still gives me cause for pause. And always will.

And I could spend hours talking and writing about the Business Class seats. Like parenthesis encapsulating the most wonderful point, your gift was a perfect way to embark & return. We were treated like King and Queen. Our crew seemed to instinctively know the purpose of our journey for their actions were almost fawning. perhaps we’re simply not used to such care. It was exquisite. Those seats allowed us so much. There is something very tangible about the feeling those seats gave us both coming and going. On the way there, it allowed us the physical rest we would need to start our first day in Sydney the right way. On the return, when the fatigue is 3 weeks deep and the depression of reality is thick, the thoughts of the Business Class pamper because a shining joy. For, by the time that the last days events were complete, Quantas came thru. The drive back down to Sydney, the finding of the airport, the gassing of the rental car, the return of the rental car, the virtual repacking of our 6 bags, the checking into an airport w/o air conditioning…all of that was ok, for what awaited us was the most grand of departure lounges, and the sweetest of seats…given to us by 2 very special family. Thank you again.

is where i feel i want to begin the complete rundown of events. I fee i should warn you, because (i) i love to write and (ii) i have a hellova lot to say and (iii) i’ve not yet formally done this…write it all down. So, print this out and take a seat. I’ll try to keep it concise and entertaining!!! Please understand that this is going to be a tool for me as well. For while we took 19 rolls of film and 3.5 tapes of video, the day to day events need to be transcribed or they will be forever remembered in only fits and bursts. This will also be a tool in another sense – for anyone else going to Sydney, our age or other, this will be a usefull one. Have you 2 ever been there?

SYDNEY 12.29 to 1.3
We arrived in Sydney at 8.03 am on 12.29, very refreshed due to the good solid wholesome rest we had en route. The 90 minutes it took to get out of the Sydney airport and into a cab seemed to fly by for we were just entranced by being in this new land. hearing accents, reading foreign advertisements, and just being there together. Once we were in the cab and driving into Sydney, my organization took over and out came the maps. I wanted to get my bearings and get them fast. We were going to be in Sydney for 5 days w/o a car…i was going to digest the layout. By the time we checked into our cute little Central Park Hotel (right in the Central Business District), our urge to get outdoors was our strongest emotion.

Our first day saw a good amount of rain, which would be our friend for close to half of our 21 days. But wait, both Anna and I love the rain. It is our favourite aspect of weather. We both attribute this to growing up in Arizona where rain was so scarce that we cherished it when it *did* rain. To this day, rainy days our very special to us. Taking the advice of Kevin Kirby, a friend who had only just left Sydney, we remanded ourselves to the top of the AMP tower, which claimed to be the tallest something-or-other in all of the specific region-or-other. From this tower, the entire city of Syney repeated out before us. This was the single-most best way to start a trip to Sydney for this reason. All of the rest of our honeymoon was out there. There was work to be done. We were powerfully hungry. And this is where the first lesson was learned. There is no such thing as a “restaurant” that is open before 12 noon. Pubs, but no pub food. no hotdog cart, no fancy cafe, no nothing. It was 11. However, letting our stomaches walk around for an hour showed us many of the streets and shops and things that we were to enjoy later. Ironically, we finally ate at a restaurant called ARIZONA, whose walls were festooned with anything SouthWestern, let alone from Arizona itself.

The rest of the day was spent stealing away from the rain into various pubs or shops. We found a district called The Rocks, which is the oldest quarter of Sydney. We met a fellow from New Zealand who had only recently left our very own Marin County for his work visa had expired. We talked about our upcoming trek to New Zealand. We talked about sheep. Sheep are featured very frequently in our New Zealand leg…see below. For dinner that night, we ordered “take away” from a cafe called RETRO attached to a theatre called METRO. Amazing chicken & eggplant sandwiches. Outside of restaurants, wine was supplied only at “bottle shops.” Oh yea, and restaurants dont have a corkage fee, BYO is just a common thing there…
We picked up a bottle of what was to be the first of a string of amazing bottles during the honeymoon. We would boast that you simply couldnt get a bad bottle of red. Because no matter what we drank, in a restaurant or by the glass or label-shopping in a bottleshop, we consistently got good wines from the AU and NZ growing regions. And nothing over $20, which is to say after conversion, “nothing over $14!”

The rest of our time in Syndey was doing much of the same = walking tens of miles a day, exploring the customs, meeting the people and seeing the sights. Oh, and watching Cricket on the telly, which i am proud to say, i finally understand. New Years Eve/Day was like any other. Anna wanted to have her hair done, so i took that time to explore the last sector of the city yet unseen, Darling Harbour. I knew it to be ripe with attractions, and i was looking for possibilities for where were going to go for NYE. Well, i found it. Darling Harbour is “right around the corner” from the Sydney Harbour bridge, and could easily see their fireworks. Darling Harbour itself was slated to have a massive fireworks display, and visible were all the displays from all the towns up the harbour. Just like 4th of July in Sausalito, we were going to see multiple simultaneous displays. Not knowing when we were going to ever get back to the hotel, Anna and I dressed for the evening and went back to Darling Harbour. By 3pm, the city was starting to acheive an excitement and capacity becomming of such a monumentous event. Turns out that one of the most well-respected nightclubs in all the world, HOME, was right there on Darling Harbour. We stumbled across tickets for their NYE party and couldnt pass it up. From this multi-level nightclub, we could see all of the fireworks, some first-hand, and others on monitors thruout the club. Again, i could spend hours and hours explaining how wonderfull these people were, in this club, on this night. I cannot think of a better place we could have spent that evening then surrounded by so many like-minded individuals in such a well-appointed venue. Trully magical. As i’m sure was the case in many other citys, there was so many “distractions” that we didnt get back to the hotel until 5am, just enough time to watch New Deli ring in their 2000. With only 2 hours of sleep, we were back up and watching London on the telly ring in theirs. Beleive it or not, we somehow mustered up the energy to take the bus out to famous BONDI BEACH. Weather and fatigue saw to it that we werent “too” adventurous, but we were treated to the sight of FAR MORE revelers then we though would still be at it. The beach was covered with those either sleeping it off, fighting tooth and nail to keep it going, or people like us, just wanting to be “up” and with others on such a significant day. I was in a great sense of releif/disbeleife that after 1/2 the world had their dreaded Y2K, that nothing was awry, no evil affoot. The rest of this wonderful day was spent sitting in bed, watching the rest of the world ring it in. We called our friends in Lake Tahoe before theirs. What seemed like a fun jesture on our part was received 10 fold by these revelers across the world. To have already had the Y2K 12 hours earlier, to be on the honeymoon…and to somehow get thru to wish good fortune on others…they were floored. We were tired and in love.

And the rest of our days in Sydney were spent as such, shopping, , going to museums, sight seeing, drinking, meeting the locals, walking tens of more miles per day, and taking copious amounts of photographs. We also liked to study their telly news reports. If it wasnt having a chuckle at their ads, and inflection, it was watching the ubiquitous Cricket match and listening to the supremesist tone of their teams players and announcers.

NEW ZEALAND 1.3 to 1.10
The morning of 1.3 saw Anna and I fitting around like little children. We had just spent 5 days in Great Sydney, and were now going to fly over to Auckland where all kinds of adventures awaited. Some the same, others wholly different. See, i had once thought of New Zealand as a little set of islands right off the coast of Australia. During my research of the lands in question, i began to realize how significant a concept their disparity really was, in social and geographic terms. To get from Sydney to Auckland, its like flying from San Francisco to Chicago. No ferry service here. Australia is fiercly independant from and spitefull of the Crown and all the UK that supports her. New Zealand is like being transported to the UK herself, for NZ still considers themselves direct subjects under direct lineage. That makes for some odd relationships between the Kiwis and the Aussies. Never the mind though. We’ve got larger things to deal with. New maps, new cities, new restaurants…and something else = a new side of the road to drive on!

This was hard. This was REALLY challenging! What seemed at first to be as easy as a flip-flop of the motions, turned out to be extremely difficult to get comfortable with. The drive from Auckland Airport to our hotel in downtown Auckland (45 minutes drive for those who know whats up)…this drive tested the limits of my sanity. Want to change lanes? On go the windshield wipers. Seatbelt? The right hand reaching at air for the belt is on the left now. Left hand turns became non-issues as right hand turns were dealt with by round-abouts. Speaking of round-abouts, they could be the answer to ALL of Americas inner-city traffic. So brilliant is it to keep traffic moving. Any drivers needing to make turns dont have to have those behind them come to a stop. I’m convinced that this is the best civic idea garnered from EU cityplanners. However, i knew that i must get the hang of this new driving position if we were ever going to make it this whole week in New Zealand. We’d planned to drive this car south down the whole length of New Zealands North Island…dropping the car off in the capital of Wellington

Auckland was decidedly quieter then Sydney, and our hotel, CITY LIFE AUCKLAND (very hip, look for CLs in other cities) was as much nicer. It had a washer.dryer! Had we known this, we would have missed that 1/2 day in Sydney where we learned how THEIR laundramats worked. We ate FAR too much of the best Indian food we’ve ever had. And the bottleshops that I went into (save for the first one – “oh my, Tiffany Wine!”) all had outstanding prices on wine that was even better.

The most memorable element of Auckland was the island of Waiheke. A short ferryride away, this island is home to some of the most well-respected vinyards in all of New Zealand. On our boatride, we were treated to why it is the original inhabitants called it “the land of the long white cloud.” We saw cloud formations of such stunning size and beauty, not seen since the monsoons of tucson. Our trip to Waiheke was for the purpose of seeking out a specific and very special vinyard, GOLDWATER VINYARD. We were both fairly certain in our beleif that these people “just happned” to be Goldwaters and that if there *was* a relation, it would have been explored and celebrated by now. So, renting scooters, we cruised the tropically paved streets over to the vinyard. Acting like honeymooning Americans, we allowed ourselves the average tastings and didnt raise any flags. After some time though, Anna just had to speak up. What happened next was trully magical. We met proprieters, Kim & Jeanean Goldwater, who were more tyhen overtly excited about having Barrys grand-daughter & new husband in their company. Kim, a man of some 70 years and his wife took us in and stories began to pour out. And thru these stories, cooincidnece and goosebumps abound. Turns out, Kims grandfather emigrated to New Zealand from Poland in early-mid 1800s. Ok, well known origins of Annas great grandfather, Michael, was that he emigrated out of Poland in 1830. Now, Goldwaters *do* exist elsewhere, but how many from the same town in Poland no more then a decade apart? Kim broke out his family tree and displayed how his grandfather was one of 10 or so children. Cooincidentally, Annas great grandfather was also one of many children. What that means? I think it has something to do with the fact that there was a large-large family GOLDWATER in EARLY 1800s Poland, from which both Annas & Kims family came. Kim & Jeanean stuck on this point as did Anna. There was “too much something there.” To this end, thry gave anna and I a copy of this family tree, which was given to annas father Michael, who seems to be curator of the Goldwater Familty tree. We spent the better half of the rest of the day with them in their home, just talking about the 2 families, talking about “our” wine regions of Northern California, talking about our honeymoon and what was next on the itinerary.

What was next on the itinerary was one more day in Auckland followed by a drive south to the town or Rotorua. And here is where I really got excited. Not only was i getting the hang of the “wrong side of the road” thing, but I as also a avid fan of roadtripping. To be able to do so in a foreign land at our own pace was very rewarding. We had maps, we had coffee, we had chips (called crisps, for “chips” are reseved for french fries) and we had driving music. However, most importantly, we had film and camcorder batteries. Once again, New Zealand treated us to treats of the eyes and analogies to Arizona. I have never before seen so far. The visibility was unearthly. Now, be this due to lack of humidity or lack of polution was not important. Was was important is that we was able to see definition in land features SO far away. Something that is simply not noticed upon a cursory scan of the horizon. But, stopping as frequently as we did, its something that jumped right out at me. To get to Rotorua, it was roughly 2 hours for the skilled. Our drive took 6 hours. Our drive South took us thru some of the quaintest little towns that could have easily been transplanted from the likes of Connecticut, then Pennsylvania, then Northern California at times. Charlestown, Hamilton, and a host of towns with hard-to-pronounce native Maori names.

All the while we were in New Zealand, the whole country it seems was glued to the activities going on in Auckland Harbour, where we had just been. Winning the Americas Cup Trophy from the long-standing Americans the previous year was something that every New Zealander was at once fiercely proud of, yet very pessimistic about keeping. The way that the system worked was that since New Zealand won *last* year, all their team had to do was watch as all the other countries’ teams went thru trial race after trial race. That, and practice practice practice. This was the day that Italys PRADA craft broke its mast, increasing the Americans odds at qualifying…which EVERY Kiwi desperately wanted to avoid.

While Rotorua was a bleeding tourist trap the likes of which Vegas would be proud, it had some very special elements. We stayed at a really nice & plushly appointed hotel…that was a comfort. My greatest interest in New Zealand lie in my fascination with its native people, the Maori. Their elaborate and ritualistic tattooing of arms and face have, on more then one occasion, prompted my further exploration into this ancient art. As well, their blunt gesture and facial contortion have intimidated and fascinated me. Motion pictures such as “Once Were Warriors” introduced me to their unique version of Polynesian standards. Rotorua was the respected seat of the Maori tribes, however much a contradiction in terms that may be. Inter-tribal strife is something very familiar & ancient to the Maori tribes. While there seems to be a rebirth of respect for their heritage and unification of their voices, one cannot hear too much about the present-day Maori without hearing about their conficts in the same breath. The ritualistic and architectural presence of the Maorio was everywhere in Rotorua. As was the smell of sulfur, for the whole region is an geographic anaomly. Hot springs and geothermally heated mubbogs were everywhere. Anna and I spent the better half of one whole day sitting in water naturally heated to 103, all the while getting a suntan. True irony.

The best part of Rotorua was our chance to take part in a traditional Maori “hangi,” or feast. This was my hi-point for New Zealand. We were bussed into the boonies of their forests to where an authentic recreation of a Maori village had been constructed. We were greeted in the traditional way: as a visiting tribe. Upon reaching the gates of the villiage, which was hardly a 40×40 foot clearing in the jungle, one of us had to act as the leader from “our tribe.” This person stood in front of us all, as representative. Strange noises, deep in tone, hummed all around us. I thought it was the barritone voice of grown men. Very odd this sound was in that i couldnt beleive a human voice could get that loud whilst being so resonant. After some time, the representative from “their” tribe began the greeting ritual. THIS was huge. The jestures were those of a man who simply did NOT want us there. Fierce facial contortions with the tounge poking out and wiggling around. Extremely swift swings of the spear, in all directions, smacking the ground, whooping the air, stopping suddenly right in front of our caucasion, plain-clothed representitive. Historically, these motions were meant to strike fear in tot he visitors, for the visitors’ intentions could never be taken for granted. Alternately, it was imperitive that the representitive remail motionless, unfazed by the blunt protocal taking place before him.. All of us were admonished from any movements or reactions of any kind, for fear of disrespecting this protocol. As well, the non-action of our tribe only inensified the motions of their representitive, culminating in the appearance of a dozen more men emerging into the clearing from the thick jungle. After an unclear apex, their representitive began to back off and repeat some of the lesser jestures. He then took a branch from his loin-cloth and placed it on the ground right in front of our representative, never taking his eyes off him. As was the peaceful nature of our visiting tribe, our representative slowly bent down and picked up the branch, putting in his belt. With this, their representative and the rest of the men let out the wildest of yells and began to jump and carry on in a much less threatening mannor. This carried them back into the thick of the jungle and onto a path. We had been accepted into their village and were to follow them. From then on out, we were treated as family. We were shown explicitly their traditons and culture. We were treated to their song and to their dance. I learned what it was that I had been hearing outside in the clearing. What sounded like human scary voices coming from all around us was just what was intended. The sound came from a wooden plank-shaped tool the Maori used to swing around on the ends of ropes. It had a “real” name, but they all called it “bull,” to which it DID resemble. The wide arc this plank swung on caused it to spin very rapidly. The friction with the air as it swung, then spun again was this low-pitched rising and falling tone. **Did you get the bull that I sent to you?** Only after these lengthy demonstrations were we lead into a grand hall and treated to a MASSIVE feast of all sorts of meats and veggies, all cooked in the ground right outside. This experience is HIGHLY recommended for anyone who not only wishes to learn about & taste Maori culture, but also wishes to do so on “their terms.” There were prolly a dozen or so outfits and operations in the town of Rotorua that offered some semblance of authenticity in these processes. But this one, you went deep into the forest to a faithful recreation of a village, and the dozens of tribesmen and women who greeted you were VERY warm indeed.

After Rotorua came the sea-side town of Napiers, the “art deco capital of the world.” Napiers achieved this dubious title in 1930-1932 when a massive earthquake leveled this bustling shipping & farming town. Civic leaders sought to overcome the total devistation by initiating plans to rebuild the entire city not only as soon as possible, but on the acrhitecture of the day. What was completed 2 years later, and still stands (& then some) today is the most overtly built city i have ever seen. It looks like Miami on its most exaggerated avenues. Its not that the art-deco is necessarily over the top, it really is your standard textbook art-deco. Whats significant about Napiers is that fact that the art-deco is EVERYWHERE. Every building from the old ones to the McDonalds – curves followed by right-angles followed by repeating rings and back again. From the sidewalks to the newspaper stands. Everywhere.

We stayed at the most grand hotel in all of Napier, out of the way and exquitsite in its architecture. With the fanciest restaurant in all of Napiers attached, Anna and I dined to the single-most finest meal we were to have during the honeymoon…although anna will counter that by reminding me of the eggs benedict we enjoyed the next morning! And the WINE! Grown and harvested right there in the valleys surrounding Napier, some of the finest reds we’ve ever tasted. Napier was a town that was meant to be a “stopover” on our continuing drive south to Wellington. We seriously considered striking our plans in Wellington and staying in Napiers. In hindsight, we truly should have for there was a tremendous amount of history and sights to soak up in this little town.

The drive to Napiers was a very dark-point in the honeymoon…something we will only refer to as the “38.” What looked on the maps to be a state highway, running the best route between Rotorua and Napiers turned out to be nothing short then a nightmare with a silver lining. The road was nothing more then a skinny, unsealed mountail trail. Again though, it was a majour route, so it had the large trucks, called road trains running along it. Mind you, driving on the wrong side of the road was one thing, doing so on a windy dirt/mountain road was another, but to have to share the road with large trucks barrel-assing DOWN the mountain was something else entirely. One two very definite occasions, i physically had to yank the wheel towards the massive drop-off so as NOT to have the on-coming truck hit us. These bastards werent giving us an INCH. Over 120km of the 38 later, i was a wreck. I have NEVER had to keep my guard up for that long before. Close to a dozen times, i would pull over, get out of the car and just break down, wondering if there was some unspoken trick to this road that I had not yet achieved privy to. And it was then that I witnessed the silver lining. We were *WAY* out in the thick of New Zealand, high up on a mountain dirt road. Never would i have taken a rental car up here, it was a mistake that we were up here…yet we could not turn around, we had come too far INTO this…these trucks had to be coming FROM somewhere. Standing on the sides of this trail we were afforded some of the most beautiful scenery i have EVER seen…ever. Tropical rainforst-worthy fauna, streams, wild pigs and horses, wildflowers, mountain outcrops worthy of council with Yosemite or the Rockys. Unspoiled and reeking with invite. With the car turned off, it was quiet enough to hear. It was torture to have to get BACK in the car and go up against the road and its natives once again. Once we finally hit pavement, sean here was gone, tears WERE shed. Dont know how that sounds…i think that ALL would understand if they went thru it as well.

Wellington. Hmmm. Wellington. The capital of all of New Zealand. Its cultural seat. Home of the winningest All Blacks footbal (rugby) team. Home of the high and classy. BAH! Wellington was the patsy. If all other places we stayed in and enjoyed on this honeymoon were spectacular, well, then ONE of those places had to be the place we make fun of. Now, given the right circumstances, Wellington really ought to be given another chance. But on this first trip, we were treated to the worst weather of the entire 3 weeks. Wellington is called the Chigago of the Southern Hemisphere. “Windy Wellington.” You’d think coming from San Francisco we would have been laughing at the wind and the rain and the cold. However, we packed for summertime. Everywhere else, we WERE treated to summertime. However, Wellington, well…Wellington had her bitchy hat on. She was NOT very welcoming. The hotel was extremely overpriced and extremely un-appointed to be charging such. The food was hard to come by as were ANY semblance of a social nightlife on our SATURDAY we were there. Wellington made us promise each otehr that whenever we plan another trip of such a length and coordination, we simply MUST plan to be in good cities for the SATURDAY…the nightlife. You’d think that the capital would be a happening place. Nothing. If there were tumbleweeds, they’d have been blowing thru the streets on this Saturday night. The city layout was a maze masquarading as one-way-streets. PLEASE…dont think that we HATED any part of Wellington. Except for the hotel (the JAMES COOK CENTRA…. boo, hiss), EVERYTHING was taken with a smile, as is the tone upon which i am trying to write this. Everything about Wellington deserved a second chance…someday. It was just that when it rained, it poured…no pun intended. We sequestered ourselves into our electric-green 70’s style hotel room with great wine, Scrabble and the sounds of Cricket on the telly. And all was good.

MELBOURNE 1.11 to 1.13

By the time that we were leaving Wellington, we hab begun to admit to ourselves that we were running full. While we thought ourselves to be a-typical tourists, we were being the textbook consumers of foreign goods. Our original set of 4 matching colour-coordinated rolling suitcases had become clinically obese, which for me, necessitated buying a third bag for myself. Dealing with wellington airport at 5am was a treat. With our bags overflowing and our mental capacity at 25% (6am), we realize only at the curbside why it was that our travel agent had booked us on such an early flight to Melbourne. It was the first of only 2 flights from Wellington to Melbourne. The other would be at 6pm, 12 hours away. Now, there’s this phenomenon none too unique to Phoenix Sky Harbour Airport on & around Thanksgiving Thursday where there are *SO* many people in line to check in, that it becomes something from another time. HUNDREDS of people lining up semi-single file, no one talking to one another, inching their bags forward with their legs, ever confident that next year, they’ll somehow avoid all this. If our flight was at 6am, we knew we had to be to the airport by at least 5am. This arrival was late when taking into account that I, like my father, for some reason, needs to get to the airport a solid week before a flight. Remember, getting back over to Australia represented an international flight. So, we got there at 4.45-ish. By the time i video taped & documented the process of myself returning the rental car to the empty counter (covering me arse) and got in line, there were a good 50-75 people in line. Within 5 minutes of Anna and I negotiating our 5 bags into this line, i kid you not, the line had easily doubled, and was out the door. And more time spent doing “whatever” in Wellington would have surely caused us to spend another 1/2 day there…for by the time we got to the counter – 5.30, checked the bags, and did all the passport paperwork, the line had grown by another 50 or so people. There was no way those poor souls at the end of the line were going to make the flight. To be stuck in Wellington. No thank you. Have you ever flown Air New Zealand? It is trully a treat. I heard that all of their planes were born in the 90s, making them the youngest fleet in the world. Inside, all of their seats have been specifically designed to be leaps and bounds more comfortable then other carriers. They freely admit how they’ve sacrificed X% of seats overall to give you, the sitter, Y% more room per seat. And, unlike American carriers, beer and wine were complimentary. And this was coach mind you. The personelle was exceptionally friendly. If you have the chance to fly Air New Zealand, I would highly recommend it.

Melbourne, we think, won. There was just something about it. Something about is compact nature, its young aire, its old history, its spry activity. Within a half hour in the city centre, we immediately agreed that the comparison between Melbourne and Sydney was a great analog for Los Angeles and San Francisco. Sydney and LA shared that crisp, new, wealthy sheen. Where the women are fit and blonde and climbing, and the men wear 3 piece suits from their 40th story advertising firm to their yacht in the harbour. What trees claimed residency were jam-packed into city planned parks. Yes Sydney had scores of cool things and atmospheres reeking of “hip.” However, there was a sense that if one actually lived there, the novelty of that hip would wear off as you scoured deeper for the soul of the city. In a nutshell, Los Angeles. But then, here was Melbourne and its near cry to San Francisco…our *HOME.* Trees lining every street. Buildings with plaques boasting their history. Young people everywhere, both eccentric and modern. Easily considered the “web” capital of AU, which really tickled my fancy. Shopping choices that made our pocketbooks weep and our credit cards sing. Not because there were high prices on everything…no, far from it. Its just that every avenue and every arcade we walked along, had some item that we’ve either never seen before, or was doing something in a WAY we’d never seen before…all of which we simply must have. From sunglasses to casual shirts to shoes to music. Melbourne was hands down the paradise for the shopper with expendibles. Like *WE* fit into that category? Hi debt! Hellllooo! Ah, but i hear the prophetic words of our Aunt Geri…”If not on your honeymoon…then when?” never truer then in Melbourne. And just like San Francisco, Melbourne just oozed with everything we like. Its best restaurants were tucked up some random alley, its hip bars were nestled against high-class theatre, artwork seeming to emerge from piccadilys & mall-walks, trolleys running every-which-way taking you right to, if not very close to where you wanted to go. Internet cafes that offered so many wares that they could *easily* have been the types of places you spend all night. Large-ticket casinos clustered with all sorts of shops and restaurants. And *what* a massive selection of ethnicities – food, people & shopping. A river with lots of activity. Clear air. Nice people. Friendly everyhting. It just was the tops in Melbourne. We were prolly at our happiest there. It was the city in which we agreed we’d have a winter/summer home…someday. It charmed us like that. Cause, while Sydney was VERY fun, we didnt do the fantasy have-a-house-there conversation about Sydney as we did after 3 days in Melbourne.

It was outside of Melbourne that we finally did the “wildlife thing.” There was this wildlife conservancy compound about 2 hours east of Melbourne. Half the fun was getting there. Great radio stations in AU. We chose this particular wildlife sanctuary due to its claim that the humans walking within it are the captives in the cages, interacting with the creatures. I think i speak on behalf of anna and myself when i say that some of the best video i’ve ever shot, along with the best photographs we’ve ever taken were inside of those cages. We were first to set-up for the koala introduction. We got the most amazing close-up and “action” shots of their 3 koala on exhibit – “Cindy,” “Joan” and “Adonis.” Walking freely around this park were what i can only call a Melbourne Pidgeon. Not because it looked as such – no, this resembled a crane or heron with the head of a pelican. I call it a pidgeon because of (i) how many there were, and (ii) how incredibly bold they were. You could be walking towards a “herd” of them and they’d barely part for you as you walked thru. Now, these were HUGE birds, easily coming up to above the knee. Very strange. I think i burned a whole roll of film on these guys right outside the car as we pulled up…not realizing just how many of them there would be throughout the day.

“The Hunter Valley” 1.13 to 1.15

We simply did NOT want to leave Melbourne. Just like in Napiers, we gave serious adult-laden thought to cancelling the rest of our itinerary, claiming whatever percentage we could get refunded, and spending it all in Melbourne along with the rest of the Honeymoon. Alas, we decided that we really really like that red liquid, and seeing as how nice the accomodations had been, we sought to go have some quiet time amongst the vines. We flew from Melbourne to Sydney for it represented something like an 8 hour drive. besides, we couldnt drop our rental off in another city as we had done in New Zealand. So here we were, back in Sydney, this time with a car. However, we were to simply drive right thru, for “The Hunter” as the valley is called, was over 2 hours north. With maps showing our route in triplicate, we STILL got lost. But as most things on the honeymoon, it just didnt matter. Just so long as we were on a paved road, and we were heading in the right direction…sorta…we were ok. No matter how “lost” i say we were though, we were simply never in danger of experiencing another “38.”

Once we drove into the secluded and lush Hunter, we were treated with terrain that was very familiar. They say its climate & temperate zone that makes the wine-growing region exceptional, but i wonder what importance there is to the similarities of mountain & valley. Of course the “vally” part of that is crucial, but we saw mountain ranges and rock formations that could have EASILY been transpalted from Californias Calistoga or Alexander Valley. By this time, we were 100% sure where we were on the map, for the roads (think = cross-streets) were very infrequent and very well named. We were here in a very “down: time in that the middle of the week say virtually no visitors tot he valley, whereas on the weekends, it gets filled to capacity. It was another one of those magical drives for us that afternoon. The music was magical, there had been no problems with the car or road, the cloud-formations after the light rain we’d just had began to do that “heaven impression.” You know, where theres a massive, well-defined cloud, deep & tall. Behind this cloud is the late afternoon sun. Already, time of day dictated that everything is cast in a golden hue. Hut once the sun goes behind this cloud, multiple rays of light pierce out from the source in all directions. Like fingers on a starfish, the cloud is now ensconced with fingers of light. New definition for the cloud immediately takes shape as the light bounces off of, and exposes its valleys and peaks. We both agreed that this is the type of material that “makes” a photograph. We were being given something here…by somoene. We had to document it. So, immediately getting my shoes on, we grabbed lenses and bags and film and went trucking off into the vinyards, stopping only to roll under barbed wire and set up our shots. To this day, these are the only rolls we have YET undeveloped. I cannot wait.

Our hotel was not only next to a vinyard, but was right IN the middle of one. Our patio was no more then 5 feet away from the angled rows of vines. Had the weather cooperated, we’d have been sitting out there all night. The Hunter as a whole was very very mellow. I lazy grid-work of steets punctuated by a vinyard here, a restaurant there…all seperated by miles and miles of rows of grapes. The wine that we did taste was exceptional. We didnt seem too intersted in driving around and tasting seeing as though the drunk driving laws over there are EXTREMELY tight. One only has to blow a .05 in order to be considered over the limit. Thats a little over one glass. We thought it best to save it for dinners & lunches near the hotel. That night saw us getting plum lost amongst the grid of unlit streets. We’re talking absolutely NO lights, even on the horizon. This is a place where there is nothing but vinyards, and nothing between those vinyards but more vinyards. It was getting late. It was starting to sprinkle. We were really hungry, but were well into the 9 oclock hour, which is when most Australian restaurant close their doors to latecomers. We were pretty sure that we could find out way back to the hotel & chomp out on the mini-bar, so that was the direction we were going in. We were on a dirtroad going at a safe clip. And with the headlights illuminating only so much ahead of and only so much to the side of a non-descript dirt road, the repeticious nature of all this was nothing to fixate on. Oh yea, and the CD player broke, so it was silent. Nothing but the din of a sedan going 35-40 on an unsealed road. Are you there? Ok. So up ahead in the road, and then again over to the right…something was there with us…stationary and tall. Like a person. Now, all this was happening very fast, 35-on-a-dirt-road fast. Instinct takes over, stab go the barkes, this-way-&-that goes the rear of the car as we come to a slow crawl. As we slowed, the backwash of dust we had been kicking up enveloped us in poorer visibility then the pitch black. The headlights lighting up the dust made for an odd brightness though. And, as we rolled forward at a 2 or 3 mph crawl, it became clear that not only were we honeymooners not alone out here, but we were being very rude. And very small. The snooty blasse expression from the faces of these wild kangaroos was priceless. From the height of no less then 6 feet, their eyes seemed to glow at us not so much with the glare of the headlamps, but with that rural/suburban growl of “Arent you a day early? Slow the frick down, buddy…” We were mesmerized. We quickly rolled down the windows and inched by the pack of what could have easily been far more then the 6 we saw. One of these honkers was right smack in the middle of the road, and the rest of them were off to the right. At his or her own leisure, his weight slowly shifted off of the muscular tail and onto his feet. And with only the sleightest of haste, hopped off to the left side of the road. We’d seen everything now.

The next day, the one full day that we *DID* have up there was spent driving due east to the coast, a distance of about 50km. We drove until we found a beach, which wasnt that far at all. See, throughout the entire trip, Anna had been longing to go to one of those white-sand beaches with cyan water and clear skys. Turns out that in addition to the weather, the only way we’d see htose beaches is if we drove 12+ hours north up the coast. One can never underestimate the sheer size of Australia. The whole of the tropical side of Australia was “right up here” on a map, but represented a journey of 2 days. Nevertheless, we found a beach, and the weather seemed to be kind enough to open its skys and show us the sunny. Sean promptly fell asleep out there on his stomach. And Anna, being the loving thoughtful and concerned new wife that she is, decided to put sunscreen on my back. I woke up 30-40 minutes later with the sure-fire signs of a sunburn. Not on my back, but on the sides of my torsoe, complete with clearly defined finger-swipes where Anna applied the sunscreen. Oh yea, and the backs of my legs. Here I am, last day of the trip, and I look like something out of Chernobyl with bright pink sides and white back. A month later, i can still clearly see these maroon stripes running from armpit to waistband. I did however have the energy to go to one tasting before we went back to the hotel, and it was a great thing that i did. It was called Brokenwood, and they had a Savignon Blanc to make your glands sing. But what they also had was a label called CRICKET PITCH. Not only does this term refer to the physical throw of a Cricket bowler, but its also the patch of hardened earth, flanked by wicket posts, upon which the hitters must run. Get that? Ok, it was also the name of my dear sister whose birthday is coming up. They had a big oak box that contained 2 750ml bottles and one magnum (1500ml) bottle. And since it was rumoured that California Customs would only allow 1500ml per person, this was enough for both of us to claim. Nice box for presentation and a cool handle for transportation. CRICKET PITCH. One is a Chardonay, and the others are 1998 Cabernets…AU and NZs finest year from what the reviews all said. I think Cricket will really enjoy it. I hope she opens it with US!!

Our last day was as relaxed and as depressing as any could have been after 21 days on holiday. We were sad to be going, and only the faintest bit eager to get back to the ratrace. And here is where the Business Class seats made us giddy. We were going to be pampered again for 12 straight hours. “what? I didnt hear you over the angels singing.” The drive back south was leisurely and very quick. This was a Saturday, and we could see the parking lot that was the Northbound lanes of the highway…all those Sydnians clammoring out of town on holiday, going up to the Hunter to get glared at by the Roos. We had some quick stops to make in the city of Sydney, which made me anxious and nervous all at once. Nervous in that I still was having some residual issues with this driving thing, regardless of how efficient i was on the open road. Excited in that i was going into a city in which i knew my way around. We needed a third suitcase for Anna, and some other knick-knacks and we were on our way. As i mentioned earlier, there was no air conditioning in the Sydney Airport that day, and boy could you tell. Sweaty fathers and smelly porters. It was a mess. And in true Archibald style, we arrived with a lot of time to spare. So much time in fact that Quantas couldnt check us in because we werent within at most 3 hours prior to departure. “You *know* how hot it is in here? Do you realize how cool it is in that lounge up there?” I sounded like Jack Lemmon, straight out of a scene from THE OUT OF TOWNERS. And calm as a clam anna, right there by my side. Did i mention that Anna becomes ME as a child when we travel? And i become Archie. Something transforms us into a Jekel/Hyde routine in the hours before a flight. Her “i’ll be right back” turns into “I didnt hear them paging me” and my “are you sure you’re sure that you remembered to look under the bed?” turns into “then lemme see it, unpack it.” Sounds evil, but its cute from a distance. Really!

And, as expected, the Quantas lounge for 2 hours was divine. The best wines all lined up for us to pour ourselves. Internet access and American newspapers. Salmon & capers on foccacia or curried roast beef & lettuce wraps? Anna and i pigged out and played close to 2 dozen hi-volume games of gin. We felt like movie stars. We were being treated like movie stars. We had just spent the most priveldged and memorable 3 weeks of our lives. And it was our HONEYMOON! Say that with me…we’re finally married and have just had a fabulously luxurious and action packed honeymoon. 7 plane flights, over 35000 miles flown, 3 rental cars, over 3000 miles driven, 2 boatrides, 2 motorscooters, 8 hotels 8 cities in 3 countries, spanning 2 hemispheres, countless bottles of wine and stingers of ale, 21 dinners, a dozen import CDs, over a dozen new garments, a new pair of sunnies, new shoes, 18 rolls of film, 3+ hours of video, a new haircolour, a millenium NYE for the recordbooks, a freakshow sunburn and a pack of rude kangaroos. And all of this was as fresh in our minds as if it all took place in movie. We were reeling and giggling and reminding each other of the 3 weeks that had just whizzed by us. It was just a fantastic way to spend out last 2 hours on this land down under.

SPEW :: around the world in 88 hours

created: Sometime in 1995

This was an idea i had for a contest for the wealthy. each contestant had 88 hours to travel the globe. they had to start from and end at the same airport. and they could not spend more then 20 minutes in any airport – which means they must book & purchase travel for ANY flight going their direction.

they could not ‘plan’ their routes with the assistance of travel agents. they could only book travel a la carte on whatever carrier going to whatever airports along their path around the globe. again, this is a ton of money we’re talking about – you have to purchase airfare AT THE GATE basically. And you have 88 hours to get your ass around the world.

As it stands now, the only problem he could foresee was the effects that fatigue would have on his senses. Here he was travelling along with this bizarre purpose, and would have to keep a straight manor. Sleeping on planes tends to warp the human circadian rhythm section. First: stripping you of ALL concept of home base time, and second: to make you so irritable that you long for such horrific concepts such as airport coffee shops opening up…regardless of what this country calls coffee or aspirin. And those were the times that he was even able to allow himself the luxury of coffee from strange strangers or to piss in a ground-based urinal. For this was a time-constrictive event.

[Picture this man racing thru a strange airport to find some obscure airlines’ gate for flight that leaves in 10 minutes to a destination that just might get him there in time to pick up that non-stop JAL flight to Kobe. In this event, one seeks non-stop, trans-contintental flights as if there were nuggets of gold. For it means that many fewer airports inbetween…that many fewer natives to deal with.]

What he foresaw as the biggest problem actually turned out to be one of the slippery measures of the trip. Since most corners of the world will either accept American Express Gold, or some sort of Visa/MasterCard, the next booking kinda fell into place. Chicago’s O’Hara was hard cause it was an American Friday afternoon. Jakarta was a parking ot due to a religious ceremony celebrating an overtly phallic serpent-God. But en masse, the counters were eager to make the transaction of a one-way counter-purchased fare…especially when First Class could be bought.

[Being always the shortest lines at the ticketing counters, First Class was always a priority, but sometimes a pipe-dream. First Class was such as treat in this thing, the availability of which was to be quite possibly the 2nd or 3rd question asked of at the counter. There were still rare occasions where ducking into the hull & slipping into the wide, beige-y leather seat, you felt ahead or at least as if you were having fun again]

Still, other terminals saw him running out of time and had to just buy “any fucking seat, Hun” and run on board, only seconds shy of 19:59:00. Cause that was all that was needed: to just get off the plane of the airPORT and into the seat on the airPLANE within 20 minutes.

[So it was the initial conditions of an airport that you tested when you got off a flight. Were we crowded? Were the lines going to be long? How is her English going to be? Am I going to be mistaken for a drunk or a theif again? 20 minutes was NOT a long time, even in modern airports. And the last thing he wanted to do was to have to backtrack to Boise cause that’s what was available in the time allotted. Ah to meet with those conditions he had heard mentioned at the Dinner, where one member had landed at 4am in Heathrow, a deserted British Airways clerk, and had him book her clear to Anchorage, complete with connections with nearby gates. Apparently all without devulging the plot.]

The bet was easy as far as rules were concerned: Make it around the world in 88 hours using only passenger-bought commercial airline tickets purchased at the outbound airport using whatever resources available. The rules were a soupy mess about what was allowed, but there was ONE thing that was strictly forbidden under threat of forfeiture: remaining in any one airport for longer than 20 minutes. The intent was to keep the challenger moving when he was not at travel. With the sincere hopes that the outbound airport would be a modern complex in a democratic land with multiple airline companies offering a variety of Eastbond flights with plenty of seats available, this was not always the case. At one point a challengers female companion was assaulted in a late-night abrasion with a pack of drunk Honduran teens at THEIR AIRPORT. The last challenger was forced into forfeiture when, right after reserving and purchasing a 3 continent/ 7 connection route, all flights out of Raleigh/Durham were delayed due to weather. Neither of these two parties even left the North American Continent. Over half of the parties had been forced into forfeiture for there simply were no Eastbound connections to be made. The rest made the circumnavigation, but outside the stated 88 hours.

SFO to LAX 1.5 Tom Bradly Intl Term. Untited CONNECTION to JFK.ny.
9:50am – 11:20 Connection set to leave 11:50

He sat down First Class on this second flight Eastbound to New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport. From there, he was told, a connection can be made from just about any company. He was given some excellent contact advice for the airline: PenseAvion. The airline would offer charter from Paris’ Orly International to the Suez no questions asked…if he was to connect to Orly. He tried not to think about that which he simply could not prepare for. There WERE the in-flight phones however. Perhaps some lonley pudgy Customer Service Rep at United Airline Head Quarters could wax Machiavellian and book him a few points in advance. Something to try once in the air. Right now, he was in First Class and that meant a Crown and Coke before take-off. United had the gall to call their First Class “Premium Class” for added sterling.

[“A bunch of shite,” he would always murmur under his breath when he read the United ticket jacket. Outside of the Trans-Atlantic flights on American Airlines, there simply were no outfits that could hold a candle to the Brits. If Virgin could be relied upon for the concept of world-wide connections, then he’d do whatever possible to fly Branson’s It was actually a joke amongst the Challengers that the in-flight massage would make you loose enough kill you when it came time for sprinting a strange airport at 6 am. To be sure, Virgin was unrealistic. Yet, every airline had its own brass ring. Hawaiian Airlines had its massive track record for beating its own schedule for in-bound into LAX (No doubt due to the strong jet-stream tail-winds that blew their asses faster). Singapore had the up-to-the-minute technology to ease the pain. And United? “Well,” he posed, “United does have the good Dinners served by older career Attendants.”

“I wonder how United Airlines First Class Lunch-Meals are”, he thought. All things considered thought, American was SO much better for the overall comfort of the traveler. But United would do well more than fine here and now. Hell, any airlines First Class was a chore to be abused.

As proud as we was to have been able to book a transcontinental flight upon arrival at his first counter – and JF friggin K at that, he suppressed all unnecessary emotions. He was given full instructions at San Francisco International, but it was mostly a blur to him now. He had to strain to remember the importance of the most important rule. This may be really fucking tough. He was going to have to tax his body and his psyche in ways that we was in no shape for. Staying awake for 88 hours was just not to be attempted. The trick was to book the longest Eastbound flight possible, regardless of where it was bound. As long as the bird was in the air, there was progress being made, and a hell of a fighting chance. The time in the air, it was to be far more valuable resting than to be focusing on the layout of the next terminal or other companies booking flights nearby. Some of the challengers found that they could make the circumnavigation and “keep it in the family,” by never having to go to another carrier in search for an earlier flight. Any airline can book you on a round-trip booking around the globe, but there’s usually some waiting to be done in between flights.

[And this is where it always got tricky. How frustrating is was to keep turning down flights that were so damn close to the 20 minutes envelope. “No…that wont do either!” “Are there ANY OTHER Eastbound flights leaving ANY earlier?” And when it got too tricky, you closed your eyes for a moment and saw the national-geographic hemisphere of the next airport and imagined where to go and what to say. “No flights due-East out of Orly?” he practiced, “How about to Cairo?” And when it got too tricky, you just booked a flight to the nearest majour airport. For if there was a name to the game, it was certainly something to do with keeping moving. As long as you prevented any significant Westerly travel, you were ok. As long as you avoided a scenario where you were on the ground for too long, you were ok. Apparently, there were to be some real-time rule-booking going on. It turns out that one year, a Challenger had booked a ticket and was taxiing to take-off when the plane got grounded due to faulty something or other. She claimed that should be an automatic 20 minutes or more. Council ruled it a disqualification and were the subject of some scrutiny.]

Again something to be dealt with in the air. Again, there was the in-flight phone thing. Again, there was the First Class to remember. Right now, it’s right close to Noon. Its where’s the damn stewardess with my Crown and Coke and my damn smile? I need to let this soak in.


SPEW :: los angeles bike

created: Sometime mid to late 1995

Around late January of this year, I began to grow aware…again. To come aware of the fact that there is absolutley no truth to the saying that “The devil will find work for idle hands to do.” I was far from idle, mind you. But even prisinors’ are busy. Even the Govenor has some time on his hands. It’s just what you do with your free time that makes you the man that you are. Or the woman that you are.

My awareness led me to spend exactly what I had saved up from Lightworks on what I considered a completeltly, rationally, sane object. King Full Mt. Bike compliments of Gary Fisher & American Expresss. It was the top-tier of objects I’d coveted all my life.

And just when I think that this Bike will see just the boardwalk of Venice and never any single-track, I begin to notice the weather here in SoCal. Record highs and clear days drive me from venice up to Mid-City where I meet the groomsmen for a meal and a belly of tequilla compliments of El Coyote. What started as a gathering of specific clan, bled into riding further still to follow the rim of the level. I began to catch my breath as I played cue on full-size Canadian rules. I practiced my Swing-Dancing with Cricket to bootleg Frank from the George Burns Estate…no shit.

I have never been so on top of my game than ever before in my life. I realize this as I’m riding west-bound on Olympic crossing Robertson…approaching that little hill just before Century City before I get that phat decline ALL THE FUCKING WAY TO THE BOARDWALK ….14.3 miles of smiles. “You do not cry for me…I cry for you.”

I’m drunk.. I jut got home from said bike ride. I love you. I’m going to bed.

SPEW :: phoenix dead show copy

created: Sometime between 1997 & 1998 for for a pair of phoenix dead shows that occurred Spring 1990

See on Flickr

These are from a pair of Saturday/Sunday Dead Shows in the Spring of 90. The venue was Compton Terrace. I always said it was located North of Phoenix, but the tickets said Chandler. These were the Saturday afternoon shows. I arrived on Friday evening to me parents house and met up with Greg A. We were to be receiving a caravan late this night. I had given Jessie S what I considered to be explicitly written, door-to-door instructions on how to get from out the door & thru the yard of Linden House, 129.7 miles North to me parents house. And to be fair, they were accurate. Accurate to a fault. Concentrating on the details over here, I left out a key right turn over there. Sent 2 cars and what may have been 2 pipe-less Japanese bikes careening up into the bowl of Mummy Mountain. Jessie, Josh Z, Brian F, Matt J (plus 2 heads from USC) and Jonny H. Hours they spent up there, all 6 or so trying to make sense out of a phone-number-less direction that was missing a whole 9 syllables. Ever dealt with a Paradise Valley cop? After some clown home-owner de-evolved and started throwing river rocks at freshmen at 3 in the morning?

Meeting up with many Clan at the show, I was impressed at how territorial we all were. First, to have met up with 15+ strong within a crowd of 25 large…

Noel and SeJ came in later in the afternoon. And what I remember about them is that they kept bickering about a nonsensical issue. Noel, growing up in Connect-a-cut, had the experience that is was most certainly IL-legal to slow down on a two-lane freeway (in the fast lane mind you), turn into the median, drive across it, and wherever a window opened, pick the freeway back up in the other direction. Well, one of them forgot some essential staple of their daily routine and had to make a u-turn around Toltek. SeJ, needing to turn around, and ever so clear on the ins-and-outs of the Arizona legal System, campaigns that it is perfectly legal and somehow encouraged to make freeway u-turns. My mind cuts to Sej strongly urging Noel to believe him that she MUST be a fool for not believing him.

See on Flickr

Matt S, Margo M, Lauren ?, …..Then, to have grown a root literally in the same spot for 75% of the day. I rarely have met up with Clansmen at a show. usually just the Jettaload that brought us and maybe a pair or quintet of someone you saw in class just yesterday, but greet like long lost. Shakedown does that. Not to get sappy, but there is a tangible glee when you see someone you know amid all that dusty, smiley chaos. Sure the toxins and their various mixtures aid in this, but there are sober shows that eclipse the foggy ones.

We all managed to cling, and that’s what’s memorable about these photographs. These images, to date, are the clearest snapshots I’ve been able to capture into the emotion. Fairly odd how candids’ and semi-aware photographs capture images that are worthy of staring at.

See on Flickr

These pictures were taken undoubtedly after the First Set. And if I’m not mistaken, I believe that if you look closely into the eyes, you can distill wee blue unicorns prancing!

COMMUNIQUES :: marylon & doug

written: Sometime early 1995

Dear Marylon and Doug,

It is 10:30 on Wednesday the 31st, and it is finally raining cats and dogs here in LA.

It had been drizzling all day, but it didn’t really cut loose until this evening. When I went to my night classes at 7pm, it still had not poured like the weathermen had predicted. But when I got out at 10, it was unlike any other weather I’ve seen here yet. My only question is: what is it about massive weather systems that make the people in this city act so bizarre? On one hand, we have the 24-hour news coverage just in case it starts to rain hard enough for them to broadcast episodes of personal suffering…all in the name of ratings. On the other, everyone on the freeways continue to drive like business as usual…as if these roads are anything but usual. However, all is not deserving of pessimism in this city. Personally, I enjoy animated weather systems. They were always a release…a source of fun back in Arizona for they were so infrequent. Here, they do wonders to wash away the grime that builds up….sorry, I’m being pessimistic again!

The classes I’m taking are with an extension of UCLA that are held up at Universal City. Two classes that deal with the finer, more technical aspects of the post-production industry here in Hollywood – or in the world for that matter. In addition to learning the highly technical information about what makes up a video signal and what happens to it along it’s journey to being broadcast and received, but they’re also aggressively educating us on the latest in digital technologies that support the entertainment industry. My company is picking up the tab, so I’d be a fool not to take them up on the offer. In fact, some of my colleagues and I are in the process of drawing up a proposal to see if they’ll continue to further our collective education. See, all of “us” have at least a Bachelors degree. But what we all would like to see happen is if Tektronix, the parent company of Lightworks/USA, to allow us to customize a Masters. While it’s not a long shot to get them to fund this, the tricky part would be getting UCLA to accept the series of courses we consider to be worthy of a Masters degree. For one thing, the work that we are doing at Lightworks is , alone, worthy enough to write volumes on. It has never been done before. I’ll try and explain:

Non-Linear Editing…
Literally, it is the process of editing video tape (mostly, film transferred to tape: “telecine”) in a way that allows the editor immediate and random access to any and all material. Before, with “linear” editing, the editor would assemble the finished product from start to finish, one shot at a time. This allowed almost no flexibility. For example, if the editor realized that, while working on scene 45, s/he made a mistake in scene 13 (i.e.: it needed to be extended or shortened or the director has a change of mind). Everything that comes after scene 13 must be reassembled. Now, with the aide of “time-code”, there are numbers that have been saved that can be used as a referenced, but the physical element must still be re-edited. With non-linear, changes can be made immediately because the original physical element has been digitized onto computer hard drive. Consider the analogy of what the word-processor did to type-writing. What if you got done with a document and discovered you left out an important sentence in the first paragraph? Hopefully, you’d just have to re-type that first page…if the sentence wasn’t too long! So what Lightworks offers is an extremely intuitive system that is rooted in the basics of traditional film editing. Everything from the console to the Graphical User Interface refers back to film editing. Being so easy to use, yet using the latest innovations to speed up and simplify the process, Lightworks has recruited the finest motion picture editors in the world to work on their systems. Waterworld, Batman III, Die Hard III, Casino, Heat, and coming soon: Broken Arrow, Mission Impossible, Twister… the list goes on and on. The best (biggest) that Hollywood can produce. Needless to say, I have never taken so much pride in one thing as I have my achievements on this job. The system, however, is still a computer, which requires knowledge that I am at least a decade behind in. I come in where these systems are configured with an array of outboard devices like video tape machines, digital video machines, professional audio equipment, etc. These all get wired to one Lightworks system which get rack-mounted into flight-cases for mobility as well as durability. A lot of knowledge needed to be gained in a “sink-or-swim” environment so that I could help configure these systems together. Once they are set up and the 100’s of feet of cable dressed, it really does beginning to look like a work of art. All that wiring never looks like a rats nest…like the back of a home stereo. Yet, come to think of it, I’ve been doing things similar to this for years. Mom and Dad still call me “Media Boy” because I could hook up the cable and stereo and had a home-made home-theater.

I’m bucking the system that has given the bachelor party a bad name. As you may or may not already know, Brodie has asked me to be his best man in the wedding. And in addition to coordinating the groom’s side of the ceremony (I think), I must also get together with the groomsmen (sp?) to plan a celebration. Yet, I have a strong urge to do things differently than would be seen and done at a “traditional” bachelor party. Upon a suggestion of a colleague of mine, Phil, at the (world famous) Comedy Store, I think we’re shooting for what he has always called a “Stagg & Doe” party. He says that this is the way these things usually happen in Toronto where he’s from…it sounds good to me here in LA. The logic being eliminating the tasteless aspects of the celebration and combining the warmer sides of it. Since we’re all friends, why not all get together and celebrate as opposed to splitting up into strictly separate male/female soirees? I fully expect the two will congregate together before or during, but to have all of us together under one roof and cause seems warmer to me…more “productive” a party. Since Phil and I both work the “Main Room” at the Comedy Store, we were thinking of renting the place and packing us all in. We can pull it off for very cheap, we’d have a band for cheaper (Phil!), and who knows, it all may go very well. What do you think? I just have to “clear” it with my girlfriend Anna, who happens to be the Maid of Honor…my counterpart in more ways than one!!

Speaking of Anna, I am looking forward to introducing you to her. I don’t know if you’re aware of how long we have known each other. In the Fall of 1991, I was a new initiate in my Fraternity (DTD) at the University of Arizona, and she was a new initiate in her sorority (AF). And, as fraternities and sororities usually do, we would throw parties together. At one of these parties, we were introduced to each other by a mutual friend, and the rest, as they say, is history. We got along so well that friends of ours would always comment on how compatible we were. Despite that though, after six months of dating, our relationship began to run itself over some rocky terrain. While this separation was as bad as they come for collegiate dating, we still shared the same circle of friends and had classes in the same department. Yet, we went for roughly a whole year without saying so much as two words to each other. And just as though there was no excuse for this, there were even less words to describe why we eventually became best of friends during the Spring of 1993. Maybe it was because we had so much in common or the fact that we knew each other so well that we were well far away from any type of game-playing. Either way, we were inseparable for the rest of our stay at the U of A. In fact, we and our families spent our graduation day together. The most significant day of my like with the most significant person in my life at the time. Seeing as though we both wanted to follow some distant facet of the entertainment industry, we both headed west soon thereafter. Or friendship only grew deeper during this period of anxiety couple with exhilaration. We fed off each other for strength in the process of finding work in this industry. Remember, we were strictly friends. I don’t think either of us wanted to risk loosing the artistic union we shared. What happened next I can only attempt to explain. Perhaps it was our disgust with the patient, frustrating trial of the “dating scene” either for us here in CA or with old ties back in AZ. Either way, two best friends did what their friends had predicted all along and came back around full-circle. It makes perfect sense when you look at it in the light of what it is that makes up solidity of foundation in a healthy relationship. It must first begin with the respect that is gained only by friendship. Some couples may never have this need, others would do anything to have started with it. All we did was accept what, I think, had always been the natural progression…acceptation. And what was so romantic about it was that we both were so much in-tune that it was literally a discussion of feelings, emotions and fears concerning each other and our outlook together, and then…just a hug…just as before. Everything and nothing had changed. Needless to say, things have progressed since that night 8 months ago, and I have never felt better. In all the relationships that I’ve experienced in my life, nothing has ever even come close to scratching the surface of the groove that I am in with Anna. We’re both on top of our worlds. There’s just one problem: her world has migrated back to AZ to take an amazing job being her own boss printing her grandfathers pictures for the Arizona Historical Foundation. My only worry is that this project she’s undertaken will begin to take as long as I fear it will (she’s in charge of printing and archiving with a filing system over 10.000 negatives!!), and I’ll actually start to investigate the post- production industry in AZ! In addition to April, you will see her this summer as she will be coming up to Canada with me this year. It will have been three years since me last visit. Far too long.

Cricket and Brodie seem to be getting more and more excited as the weeks go by. Brodie and I have been trying to get all of the guys together to decide upon a day when we can all go get fitted for a tuxedo and choose a pattern for our vests. I really enjoy whenever I can get away and go over to their house. They have really taken off at full speed with fixing up a really nice house. It seems like every time I go over there, there is some new fixture on the wall or a new plant on the mantle.

I am looking forward to seeing the both of you in April for the wedding. Hopefully, I will get to hear from you before then. Please, let me know how Gil and Andy are doing in their lives. And as I have said before, I truly wish that we were able to see each other more often. I apologize for having let so much time lapse between writing at length. Although I find I can explain more precisely what is going on in my life when I can write it down, I seem to wait what seems to be far too long in doing so. And for that, I apologize. I hope you had yourselves a pleasant holiday season, and until I see you in April, I wish you the best.

much love,

COMMUNIQUES :: geri & fred

written: Sometime late 1994

Geri and Fred,

I got your postcard earlier this week and seriously had to study the picture in order to figure out which one of my friends belongs to this Kitty! Anna and I have many friends that are as loving of the feline as are we. Anna even had her passport picture taken while holding TumbleWeed, a Persian that she used to live with! Although cropped right below the ears, you can still make out that fluffy head.

Cricket and I are hard at work trying to find a great restaurant here in LA for when you arrive. There are SO many choices, though! Do the two of you have any preferences? Also, will you be coming into Long Beach or to San Pedro? Either port, I am of the opinion that the best restaurants in which to eat with out-of-town guests are in Hollywood. Perhaps you’ve heard of the House of Blues? In any case, there is one restaurant that all of us swear by called the Atlas Bar & Grill. Here, not only are the menu and kitchen filled with the best tasting meals, but the architecture is equally grand. On some nights, the dining area is converted to a dance floor on which you’ll find couples no older that 30-35 dancing to the Swing and war-time hits their parents would have danced to.

As you may or may not have heard, I have crossed a significant point in a mans life: Anna has finished her job in AZ and has moved in with me in Venice Beach…and I couldn’t be happier. I guess we’ve always known that it was going to happen, but like anything in the post-collegiate world, it came upon us MUCH quicker than expected. We both have very good attitudes about what it is that we’re here (Los Angeles) to do, and have set goals by which we should have made it possible to reach them. The beautiful thing is, now that we live together, we are more of a team: us against this City, as opposed to two struggling to make a name for ourselves. Others have offered their advice and their warnings about what we, as new “roommates”, should do or what we should be wary of, but the two of us are best friends, first & foremost. As I have said before, I am going to really enjoy introducing her to the two of you.

Looking forward to seeing you World Travelers after your cruise. And please, if you have any suggestions for that evening here in LA, please write or call either Cricket or myself. My number here at Ian Hale’s house is 310.578.9050. It’ll be a lot of fun having you in our city!


My “all too adult” business card is enclosed…I’m quite proud…it’s my first.

SPEW :: where credits due

created: March 3, 1998

This was a monumentous idea i had for a coffeetable book on the then emerging art of opening credits. either a book or some other medium. remember, this was 98, before a lot of the self-publishing streams we NOW take for granted even existed. Since then, this new artform has taken a more prominent role in the majour motion picture as a whole. We’ve seen Kyle Cooper become a player. This is no longer a hot only-whispered topic. Its now old hat. But mark my words: Kyle Cooper will receive the 1st Oscar for the latest category: Best Opening Credits.

Where Credits Due…

First impressions

A duality must be recognized:
The impression we get as we watch the credits as pure, unoppinionated viewers…swayed only by some feeling we have for the actors/directors previously viewed works. Or better yet, the blind-taste-test. Have the viewer sat down and the movie played…assuming that they’ve never heard of the film or actors before. But to be fair and nonpartial, the anticipation one feeles prior to a film is due, in part, to the presence of certain respected and genre-setting elements. A Director like Lucas or Spielberg, whose name precedes them, will cause the viewers anticipation, aghain: in some way, to be altered. At this point, we rarely, if ever (again) go into a film NOT knowing whose on the card.

The reprocessing of the information once the plot/narritive/film hase been revealed/told/viewed. A once-pass of some fine credits will, in many cases, send the viewer into the narritive with only a shread of a hint about what they’re about to see. Usually, they’re left with simply a mood or tone…like a taste in the mouth. However, once they’ve made the journey thru the film, they can go back and analyze the introduction credits for their true wieight in relationship to the whole. Jusge the narrative of the credits in relation to the narritive of the film. How much was revealed? Was it all back-story or was there simple a snap-shot of narritive-present-day…also to bring the viewer up to speed, but more to the pooint: to show a kind of “day in the life of…” Think the waking/dressing/leaving scenes in the credits of TRADING PLACES.

Judge the art/pace of the credits to that of the film. There are some that would,here, argue that films like SEVEN contained credits that very accuratly set the tone for the film to come. Yet, coming out of them, we cannot make tangible cognitive sense out of them. its only after the films narritive has been revealed…in all its detail that we remember that the fingers we saw in the credits WERE those of a compulsive…they WERE bandaged…they WERE writing in the same journals Freeman said would take 10 men years to sift thru.

Seperate entities in and of themselves.
Do they have seperate directors?
Whats the hierarchy?

What about the fact that the title-logos on the promo material dont always match the title-logo in the credits? Think RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. The promo has this fanfare, ribald font that just spews “action-adventure” film. John Williams’ horns are RIGHT there with you when you read the title afterwards. However, once into the picture, the credits are somewhat sterile-white, accompanied by a markedly video-feel to them considering the richly textured stock of the film over which they appear. NOTE: the different fascets of the afore mentioned hieracrhy…that the producers that are in charge of marketing (at Paramount in the Dr. Jones case) are in seperate offices and on seperate pages from the producers of the physical element. They all might have the same cat sign their checks, but their output suggest that they operated autonomous of EACH OTHER throughout production.

Essense, in some way, to the music video…the editing, pace, etc

How much of the story should be revealed? At what cost symbolism (SPHERE, 007)

Credits that allow you to ignore their presence, their very substance VERSUS Credits whose very description (let alone any recognition as out of the ordinary) is the credits themselves. (flaming titles, mettal ones (a la T2).

ALL films have them. So what is it about the films whose credits stand out? Whose credits are such that they wrap you into a pre-narritive…for the keen eye. Films like THE GAME gave you first: animated puzzle peices breaking appart producers and directors names to get to THE where was there a puzzle in the film…what was this? The standard: “Its a film called THE GAME. The title-credit should reflect this.” The puzzle gave way to the vintage films showing the wealthy in daylight. A boy. Presumably his father next to him. Stoic, yet overtly impatient. This man either really cold, or is one giant nerve. We see the detatched nature of the relationship this boy has with this fatehr. Its only thru flashbacks, later in the film that we learn the significance of the 16mm films within THE GAME credits.

Consider the film whose entry has no credits or the bare, egotistical minimum. Old films used to do this. There’d be the Studio first, which inthose days, was also the production company…usually the next title in todays films. Next, there’d be the stars, usually two, four at most…the drawing factor. This would be followed by the Director, and most likely the Story credit before that..perhaps thats where we caught the trend of letting the viewers enter the narritive with the Director as the last thing they see. Perhaps its a wise idea to let ALL the credits appear AFTER the film…for the sake of the viewer. That not even in a film like the new STAR WARS prequels should there be a credit to special effects by: And speaking of STAR WARS (trillogy)…there are 3 films that dont waste a thing. Its the 20th CENTURY FOX logo and extended score…black screen…that green lettering for LUCASFILM…then the famous: “A LONG TIME AGO IN A GALAXY FAR FAR AWAY…” What comes next is legendary in the annals of motion picture credits: The mighty scripture of a generation. The pure, unfettered PLOTSEED, rising forth like the stalk. The words where that which was essential for what was to come. The audince would have to know, in a nutshell, what was needed to understand the Rebellion against the Empire…the black and white. Not because the film was to change motion picture histiry…but because Lucas was broke, and the credits were placeholders for character development that he couldnt afford. Its not a cheap move…rather, its a very traditional one…to give the audience a wee written hint of the story thats to unfold. It lets them hit the ground running.

Find a film or 5 that DONT have intro-credits that include the set-dresser and craft service.

Music – NIN
Style – NIN
Image – Spacey writing in the journals, prepping, propping up scenes Freeman and Pitt were later to discover.
Credits Scrawled as if by Spacey himself. Minute little letters. Shifty, grainy characters. Rising and falling to screen with same tempo as score.
Edit – A frenic pace that must be compared to either the mind of Spacey or the…

Manipulation of credits.
Calm, slow L-R/R-L tracking of the credits, getting distorted and refracted by invisible sphere. Real-time refreaction. Credit would be rolling way small, way left-right, then go out of site behind something, only to snap on scren way large and refracted thru glass distortion of sphere…now taking up entire screen.

007, before Goldeneye
Credits that serve as function and form. Sillouhuetted women (tradmark Bond credit motif) taking sledgehammer and hammer, and sickle to Lenin. They are forcibly dismantling the very symbolistic icon of the Soviet Union…a main element of the plot to come. As always, these naked shadows are interacting in some way with the titles of the credits…as if they shared the same physical space…as if they actually had the word Broccolli tracking up and past them as they stood on Lenins nose.

Beautifully organic…yet the very antithesis of organic. Were dealing with gene-splicing and gene-manipulation in this film. But were not to know that, for we’re got to assume that the viewer is PURE. Having not been swayed into forming oppinions on the narritive before they’ve seen it. The view must remain the sequestered-jury before they hear or see anything. Back to MOREAU. The credits show the inherent beauty of our innerspace. These shots are cut with shots of the manipulation of this complexity…this order.

“The high-point of the movie is a bold display of jaw-dropping visuals during the opening credits…”
– JAMES PALMER – Daily Beacon Staff Writer

“In its favor, the film has an eye-catching opening credit sequence, lush scenery and some nice camera work.”
– Jean Oppenheimer – BoxOffice Magazine

“Except for a gripping title sequence, director John Frankenheimer (who last made the TNT movie Andersonville) can’t make heads or tails out of this mess.”
– Sean P. Means –

Does the “credits” have to contain the credits? Cosmic/universal pull-back of Contact set pace for movie, smoothed you right over for the introduction of characters and narritive.

SPEW :: market street canadian race

created: march 30, 2003

seen & heard on Market street late saturday night:

screaming down both lanes of market, me in the stormtrooper occupying the inside lane, and 2 carloads of canadians in the outside. in some post-modern punk-rock American Grafitti cruising scene, incredibly strange music at massive volumes pouring out of all 3 vehicles, bursts of speed followed by readjustments to once again match up the windowlines. the whole time violating any posted vehicular occupancy laws, i saw one rosie driver seemingly push his entire thorax & arms out the drivers window at 40 mph. A positively glowing cindylooo – honourary canadian – repeating the same action, exposing the smiling faces & crumpled bodies in the back seat. Jimmy buzzing & darting right behind them exercising the bavarian high-fives & possibly a red-line there for a moment or two. all campaigning quite vigourously to get me to go to kellys for the night i knew i deserved but wasnt sure i could resolve. so tempting. i could see that a freaktrain of *THIS* breadth was going to be an etching of an evening. perhaps i has having too much fun waxing andretti on the SF streets that night. I caught air coming up dolores. ahh the fun we have when we are alive with “expanding and opportunity”

so… how was it? how was everyones weekend? didnt everyone get laughed at histerically as they spilt $12 of beer on themselves at the sharks game? no?